If you've overstayed your visa or leave
If you’ve stayed longer than you're allowed to under your visa or leave, this is called overstaying. You'll have 30 days to leave the country from the date it expired. If you’re an overstayer and want to stay in the UK, you should check what you can do.
Coronavirus - if your visa is ending and you can’t extend your visa or leave the UK
If your visa expires before the end of September 2021, you need to ask for more time to extend your visa or leave the UK. This is called ‘exceptional assurance’. Check how to apply for exceptional assurance on GOV.UK.
For example, you might not be able to leave the UK because:
you have a medical condition which makes you ‘extremely vulnerable’ to coronavirus – check if you’re extremely vulnerable on GOV.UK
the country you need to go to won’t let you in because of coronavirus
you can’t arrange travel in time
The Home Office won't remind you when your visa or leave expires. Check your biometric residence permit or any stamp or sticker in your passport if you’re not sure if you’ve overstayed.
You might also be treated as an overstayer if you:
got your visa by fraud or you used false documents
didn’t mention something that could have led to your visa being refused, like having a criminal record
If you’ve applied to stay in the UK for longer
If you applied for a new visa before your old one expired, you can stay in the UK until you get a decision. If your application is valid you won’t be an overstayer.
The Home Office can refuse your application if you:
overstayed for longer than 14 days - even if you had a good reason
overstayed without a good reason
If you’re the non-EEA family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
You can check what countries are in the European Economic Area (EEA) if you're not sure.
If you applied for pre-settled or settled status before your family permit, residence card or visa expired, you can stay in the UK until you get a decision. You won’t be an overstayer if your application’s valid.
If you applied for a residence card and your family permit or visa expires after you applied, you’ll be an overstayer from the expiry date on your permit.
If there was a reason you missed the deadline
You might still be able to apply for a new visa if you can prove you couldn’t renew your visa in time because of something you had no control over - like if you were in hospital. You’ll have to apply and give your reason within 14 days of the date your visa or leave expired.
It's best to get help proving you had a good reason for missing the deadline. Read more about finding an immigration specialist. Using a specialist might be quicker but you may have to pay.
You won't be entitled to the same rights if you overstay even if you apply within 14 days of your leave expiring. For example if you were entitled to work before you overstayed, you won't be allowed to anymore.
Leaving the UK
If you don’t leave voluntarily within 30 days of your visa or leave expiring, you could be deported. Check what to do if you're going to be deported.
If you leave after 30 days, you could be banned from re-entering the UK for between 1 and 10 years. How long you’re banned for depends on:
when you leave the UK
whether you leave voluntarily or you’re deported
whether you’re able to afford the cost of returning to your home country
You won’t be barred from re-entering if you’re applying for a partner or family visa or were under 18 when you overstayed.
The overstaying might still be held against you on future visa applications. For example, if you’re applying for a visitor or student visa where you must show you’ll leave the UK at the end of your visit or studies.
Your rights as an overstayer
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve overstayed for - you can still:
send children to school until they turn 16
use emergency services in the UK (police, fire and ambulance)
You can also get essential and emergency healthcare, including treatment if you’re having a baby.
You might be charged for some treatment after receiving it. Check when you might have to pay for your treatment.
Page last reviewed on 22 August 2019